NCBI ROFL: How to improve your human random number generator.

By ncbi rofl | January 16, 2012 7:01 pm

Doing better by getting worse: posthypnotic amnesia improves random number generation.

“Although forgetting is often regarded as a deficit that we need to control to optimize cognitive functioning, it can have beneficial effects in a number of contexts. We examined whether disrupting memory for previous numerical responses would attenuate repetition avoidance (the tendency to avoid repeating the same number) during random number generation and thereby improve the randomness of responses. Low suggestible and low dissociative and high dissociative highly suggestible individuals completed a random number generation task in a control condition, following a posthypnotic amnesia suggestion to forget previous numerical responses, and in a second control condition following the cancellation of the suggestion. High dissociative highly suggestible participants displayed a selective increase in repetitions during posthypnotic amnesia, with equivalent repetition frequency to a random system, whereas the other two groups exhibited repetition avoidance across conditions. Our results demonstrate that temporarily disrupting memory for previous numerical responses improves random number generation.”

Photo: flickr/garryknight
Thanks to bboybutzemann for today’s ROFL!

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: NCBI ROFL, rated G, super powers, WTF?
  • http://twitter.com/karlDcollins Karl D Collins

    When when I click Tweet does something download to my computer and the article does not get shared.  I do not like this

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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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